Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feb.17: Reflection on Joyce Valenza's "Wizard of Apps"

First, I want to say what a great job the Theatre II class did on making that video! It was funny, creative, and informative!
High school students and their librarian make a parody of the "Wizard of Oz "to help us learn about Ethical Digital Citizenship, Research Apps, Triangulation, PLN, Presenting to an Audience, and Communication/Collaboration.
In the digital citizenship segment, "Glenda" told us about transformative thinking in deciding which sites are good and which are bad. She mentioned noodletools. This is a site I have used several times for making works cited pages in high school. I would recommend it to my students. Some of the research apps "Glenda" mentioned would be very helpful in my own history classes. For example, wikis and blogs (both of which I intend to use extensively in my own classroom), Google's many search options, online database widgets (Ebsco, Gale, Proquest, JSTOR, NYTimes)- all of which are essential to historical research and which I plan to make use of in teaching students how to research. I could put these widgets on a classroom blog and that way the students could have easy access to all their research materials. She presented Google News Timelines, for example. I browsed this. I like it, but I'm not sure I would recommend it as a first line of defense because there are way too many ads cluttering the screen...distracting!
She also mentioned triangulation, a word of which I have never heard. It is basically a filter for garbage (GIGO: garbage in, garbage out). She advises to ask questions of the sources found online.
She provided a dozen creative websites from which students could find pictures, make movies, play with words, etc... I could use voicethread as a tool in the classroom by allowing students to create reviews of chapters on voicethread, or even to present a chapter or part of a chapter, to the class. The best way to learn is to teach others.
"Glenda" also told us about communication and collaboration. One of my favorite tools she introduced here was the idea of Skyping an author. What a great idea! I think it would be more exciting for librarians, English teachers, or elementary teachers. But, I could use it as a French teacher, perhaps.
All in all, "Glenda" presented a great collection of resources. I'm still browsing them all. There are so many! One site I looked into, out of curiosity, was Here, students and teachers can play with words to create some interesting configurations. I played it myself, and I thought it was cool. In brainstorming how to use this, I thought of: students could use it in presentations, I could use it for an introduction into a new unit, or better yet a review of a unit. The students can see all the key words to study.
Great video!

1 comment:

  1. Great job - so glad you were able to glean so much from this creative presentation!